Leeks are in season at the farmers markets in the area, but people still don’t know what to do with this wonderful and versatile vegetable.
Sure, you can sauté them, but don’t stop there. I particularly love them in soups, though they are great in salads and as a side dish. Thomas Keller, considered to be the finest chef in America, uses them in a bread pudding.
Here are links to several leek recipes we’ve run in the past as well as new one for Creamy Leek Soup, which is perfect for those of us trying to cut back on carbs without losing any flavor.
The point is, don’t pass those leeks up the next time you’re at a farmers market. They are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, according to NutritionData.self.com. “They are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, folate, iron and magnesium, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.”
And they taste great, with a sweetness that is comes out when you cook them. Look for smaller leeks. Cut only the white part, then peel back the thick, outer green leaves and cut only the tender part of the green beneath. Soak the cut pieces in water; the dirt will sink to the bottom while the leek stays on top.
Cream of Leek Soup
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup finely cut leeks
2 tablespoons butter
½ medium sized onion, minced or grated
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
Bring the stock to a boil. Add leeks and simmer. While they are cooking, melt butter in a saucepan with the onion. Then add to the leek-stock mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the leeks soften and cook. Add chopped parsley. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and purée.
Set up a double boiler over low heat. Whisk the egg yolks over the warm water. Slowly stir in heavy cream and whisk until fully incorporated. Slowly add the cream to the soup and stir it with a wooden spoon until it thickens. It is done when the mixture coats the spoon with a slight film. DO NOT let the mixture boil and do not overcook.
Makes 2-3 servings.
Adapted from apinchofhealth.com